THE ENERGY department plans to award new petroleum service contracts under the fifth leg of the Philippine Energy Contracting Round (PECR) next month, an official said over the weekend.Ismael U. Ocampo, director of the agency’s Energy Resource Development Bureau, said evaluations of the three applications received last June are almost complete.
“All of the bidders will likely pass the evaluations. By the first week of September, we will already have a recommendation for award,” Mr. Ocampo said in a text message when asked on the status of the PERC 5.
He said the recommendation will be forwarded to Officer-in-Charge for the Energy Secretary Zenaida Y. Monsada.
“We hope to award the contracts by the second week of September,” Mr. Ocampo added.
A total of three companies submitted offers for new petroleum contracts during the bid submission for the PECR 5, in which a total of 11 areas were offered for exploration and development.
Israel’s Ratio Oil Exploration Ltd. submitted the only offer for area 4 — which covers a 416,000-hectare (ha) site in waters east of Palawan.
Colossal Petroleum Corp., meanwhile, applied for area 5 — a 576,000-ha block also in waters east of Palawan.
The company, which is an affiliate of listed Coal Asia Holdings, Inc., is also the sole bidder for area 7, a 468,000-ha block within the disputed Reed Bank in the West Philippine Sea.
Yulaga Oil Exploration Enterprises submitted the sole bid for area 1, covering a 424,000-ha petroleum block in Southeast Luzon. The company, however, was immediately disqualified “due to lack of financial, technical and legal documents.”
There were no offers for areas 2 and 3 (in Iloilo and West Masbate); area 6 (East Palawan); and areas 8, 9, 10 and 11 (West Luzon).
A petroleum service contract has seven-year exploration period, which may be extended to up to 10 years.
Should this phase succeed, the contract will enter into a 25-year development or production period.
The PECR 5 — launched in May last year — also showcased 15 areas for coal exploration and development.
Three companies received the seven coal operating contracts (CoCs) under this contracting round in November.
CoalBlack Mining Corp. beat out TQGT Minerals Resources Development Corp. for area 2 — which covers a site straddling Tago and Tandag, Surigao del Sur.
Philsaga Mining Corp. — the sole bidder for areas 6 and 7 — was granted the two new CoCs, which cover separate coal blocks in Agusan del Sur.
Meanwhile, Sahi Mining Corp. won the rights to coal concession areas 4, 5, 10 and 11.
Two of the areas are located on the border of Agusan del Norte and Agusan; while the two others straddle Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga Sibugay.
Under PECR 4 held in 2012, the Energy department offered 38 coal and 15 petroleum blocks.
The auction attracted 69 bids for 28 coal contracts and 20 offers for 11 petroleum deals, but only 11 bids for coal and three for petroleum were awarded.
The government has been actively pushing for the development of indigenous resources of energy in a bid to reduce its dependence in imported oil.
The Energy department is also undertaking the tender for 21 renewable energy contracts under the second open and competitive selection process (OCSP 2).
Four geothermal sites with aggregate potential capacity of up to 134 megawatts (MW) and 17 hydropower sites with capacity of up to 733.4 MW were offered under this scheme.
In May, the Energy department received eight offers for two geothermal concession areas; and 31 offers for 14 hydropower prospects.
Detailed evaluation of the proposals is ongoing and the agency intends to award new renewable energy contracts on Sept. 4.
The first round of OCSP, conducted in 2009, resulted in the award of eight geothermal service contracts.
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